Social media is exploding.Everyone now has a Twitter profile, a LinkedIn profile or a Facebook page and the list goes on. This is fantastic and organisations are starting to follow suit.
The transparency and genuine honesty that comes through when you use these media works wonders with how people perceive you.
So, how can you integrate your social media into your email marketing campaigns?
Here are 5 simple tips to get you started:
1) Include social media links in your email campaignsYour subscribers can then easily and quickly share your email. Use tools like Tweet this, Digg this, post to Facebook, etc. If you want to be very clever, link online versions of each article in your email campaign. This will give you a clearer understanding of who's sharing what and gets people onto your website.
Pros: Quickly share your email with a larger network than your subscriber database alone.
Cons: Writing valuable content for your email does take more time and effort but the benefits far outweigh the time.
Don't forget: This means you'll have to write valuable and interesting content consistently to get your subscribers sharing.
2) Do the same on your websiteKeep it quick and easy for people to share your content using standard, easy to recognise images and text based links. In addition, pop online versions of your email campaigns onto your website as well.
This increases the valuable content contribution on your website without actually writing anything more. (In addition, adding fresh content on your website will have benefits for your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as well, bonus!)
Pros: Sharing your content with everyone who visits your website increases your chances of return visits. You're also positioning yourself as an industry leader and this will ultimately aid your sales funnel
Cons: This could take longer to implement if you don't have a content management system (CMS) for your website and need to send content to your web master to upload. Just plan ahead and you'll be fine.
Don't forget: Include a ‘subscribe to our newsletter' link to every page of your website to increase your subscriber database.
3) Watch what gets shared (and what doesn't)Use your reports. Most Email Marketing reporting systems are set up to provide valuable data on your subscriber database such as what link a subscriber clicks, when and even how many times (if this is a high number, this can indicate sharing through an email forward).
This can give you a clearer understanding of what your database wants to hear from you. When you know this, you can start producing more valuable content in your campaigns to drive better results. This will naturally increase the numbers sharing your content.
Pros: The more people who see it the better.
Cons: People might not share anything. That's the worst that can happen. So, vary what you're saying until you see what people are sharing. If all else fails, ask your subscribers what they want (and then provide it).
Don't forget: Give this time and try to be open minded. Not everyone will like everything you say every time. Revisit content that didn't do so well and review it against a campaign that was more successful. Maybe the magic's in how you say it not what you say. Remember that golden rule, test, test, test!
4) You're already being social, so use itYour email client (such as Outlook, Hotmail etc) has a forward button, and your email markting company should be able to add one to your email template if you don't already have one on there. If your subscribers are using these facilities, they already find your content valuable enough to share. Maximise this and include the forward function as part of your social sharing section.
Pros: Using the forward button we provide in your email provides a facility for the forwardee to subscribe to your database so you can send to them directly from now on.
Cons: The forward button within the email template isn't always used, some subscribers will prefer to use the forward button on the email client (Such as Outlook, Hotmail etc). Keep an eye out for high numbers of opens and clicks on one email address in your reports section to get an idea of who's forwarding.
Don't forget: Thank people for sharing your content in advance. It's a nice touch, good manners and may encourage those that wouldn't normally to share your content to do so.
5) Build on relationships that start socially.How often do you see a 'DM me your email so I can send you more info' on Twitter? Sometimes short and sweet isn't enough and more details are needed.
Using email will start opening the doors of two way communication. In addition make sure you let everyone know where they can sign up to your email campaigns. Get your online sign up page out there!
PS: Don't send marketing campaigns unless you have an opt-in. Send people to your website to sign up to make sure you're legal.
Pros: More natural data for your subscriber database, which can only be good news.
Cons: You are likely to get list churn (where people subscribe and then unsubscribe on your next email campaign). Don't take it personally, overall, your numbers will increase.
Don't forget: Capitalise on that brief connection in the social world and swap email addresses. Email addresses are valuable so don't forget to give yours back. This will start building trust and strengthen that relationship.
Final thoughtsIf you don't ask, you don't get. Let people know they can share your content and make it clear, quick and easy to do so. Providing value will get you a better response (such as higher open rates, click through rates and link sharing). A better response means you're more likely to achieve your goals.
Bear in mind you should be guiding your subscribers down a path to your goal, so don't send emails without a long term plan in place.